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Hector Zapata PA, ONE Sotheby's Int'l RealtyPhone: (754) 244-2687
Email: [email protected]

What's the Difference Between Prequalified and Preapproved?

by Hector Zapata PA 03/13/2019

If you’re a first-time homebuyer, odds are you’ve thrown the words “prequalified” and “preapproved” interchangeably. However, when it comes to home loans, there are some very important differences between the two.

For buyers hoping to purchase a home with a few missteps and misunderstandings as possible, it’s vital to understand the procedures involved in acquiring financing for a home.

Today, we’ll break down these two real estate jargon terms so that you can go into the mortgage approval process armed with the knowledge to help you succeed in securing a home loan.

Mortgage prequalification

Let’s start with the easy part--mortgage prequalification. Getting prequalified helps borrowers find out what kind and what size mortgage they can likely secure financing for. It also helps lenders establish a relationship with potential customers, which is why you will often see so many ads for mortgage prequalification around the web.

Prequalification is a relatively simple process. You’ll be asked to provide an overview of your finances, which your lender will plug into a formula and then report back to you whether or not you’re likely to get approved based on your current circumstances.

The lender will ask you for general information about your income, assets, debt, and credit. You won’t need to provide exact documents for these things at this phase in the process, since you have not yet technically applied for a mortgage.

Prequalification exists to give you a broad picture of what you can expect. You can use this information to plan for the future, or you can seek out other lenders for a second opinion. But, before you start shopping for homes, you’ll want to make sure you’re preapproved, not prequalified.

Mortgage preapproval

After you’ve prequalified, you can start thinking about preapproval. If you’re serious about buying a home in the near future, getting preapproved will simplify your buying process. It will also make sellers more likely to take you seriously, since you already have your financing partially secured.

Mortgage preapproval requires you to provide the lender with income documentation. They will also perform a credit inquiry to receive your FICO score.

Mortgage applications and credit scores

Before we talk about the rest of the preapproval process, we need to address one common issue that buyers face when applying for a mortgage. There are two types of credit inquiries that lenders can perform to view your credit history--hard inquiries and soft inquiries.

A soft inquiry won’t affect your credit score. But a hard inquiry can lower your score by a few points for a period of 1 to 2 months. So, when getting preapproved, you should expect your credit score to drop temporarily.

After preapproval

Once you’re preapproved for a mortgage, you can safely begin looking at homes. If you decide to make an offer on a home and your offer is accepted, your preapproval will make it easier to move forward in closing on the home.

Once the lender checks off on the house you’re making an offer on, they will send you a loan commitment letter, enabling you to move forward with closing on the home.

About the Author

Author
Hector Zapata PA

 

Hector was born in Colombia, and has called South Florida home for more than 18 years. He is an Industrial Engineer by trade specialized in Cost Control, Production Planning, and Plant Design. Prior to moving to South Florida, Hector worked for 13 years as a Plant and General Manager in the Graphics and Publishing Industries in Bogota, Colombia. When Hector moved to the United States in 2001, he decided to become a PGA Golf Pro, and created his own business in the Golf Industry as a competitive player, and teaching pro. He was the founder and director of Bonaventure Golf Academy, and today he runs his own golf academy in Cooper City, Florida. In his nearly 15 years of experience as a Golf professional and Instructor in South Florida, he has been asked by many customers looking to purchase a home on a golf course his opinion about the best Golf Communities in South Florida. He became a realtor in order to better serve his customers, and help them as well as all golf enthusiasts find the home of their dreams. Hector is highly recognized for his personalized service, ethics and professionalism in the Golf industry, and his goal is to provide extraordinary service to his Real Estate customers and friends too! Hector is specializing in Golf communities and Luxury properties in South Florida.

Why Choose Me As Your Agent? When you work with me, you will receive a knowledgeable and professional real estate agent, a committed ally to negotiate on your behalf, the systems in place to streamline buying your home and the backing of a trusted company. Why Work With A ONE Sotheby's Agent? Looking to sell your home? As a real estate associate of ONE Sotheby's International Realty, you will now have access to over 22,000 associates and presence in more than 70 countries across the world to help you sell your property. With our technology, we are leading the way in how homes are sold and purchased through online marketing. Through our ONE Site, your listing will display on top name sites like Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com to get you the most brand exposure to your home. Looking to purchase a home? With our ONE Sotheby's Technology and advanced websites, searching for properties that are active on the mls is a breeze. Now you can search 24/7, save properties to your profile to view later and schedule showings with me so you can see these properties in person. My job is to make the real estate buying process that much simpler and as a real estate associate of ONE Sotheby's International Realty, we are doing just that. Our company prides ourselves in staying on the cutting edge of technology and if you select me as your real estate agent, you will receive all of this and more. You could never find a more dedicated, energetic, or focused agent to represent you. Please give me a call for a no-obligation assessment of your real estate needs!